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Infinite Patience on Robson’s Emperor Face Climbed

Mount Robson’s North Face and Emperor Face. Photo John Scurlock

Maarten van Haeren and Jasmin Fauteux have made an ascent of Infinite Patience on the Emperor Face of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

The route was first climbed by Eric Dumerac, Philippe “Tronc” Pellet and Barry “Bubba” Blanchard in 2002. It’s since been repeated a number of times.

The most memorable ascent was by the late Marc-Andre Leclerc, who made the first solo of the route and of the Emperor Face in spring of 2016.

This is an excerpt from Leclerc’s story posted on his blog here: “I reached an exposed prow heavily covered in snow where I had to dig an exposed trench further left before making my way onto the crest where I carefully maneuvered around cornices and snow mushrooms. This brought me to the upper snowlopes where I found better conditions and less tiresome trail breaking and could make my way relatively quickly towards the upper mixed runnels that Infinite Patience is famous for. As I neared the runnels I could see two possible options, and both were blocked by large snow mushrooms making it impossible to see if there was any ice beneath or which would be the best route.

“The right hand option did look to be less vertical I so decided to explore it first. I soon found myself scraping up a sketchy groove while digging a tunnel though the snow mushroom; taking care not to dislodge the entire thing on top of myself. I could not help but dislodge snow into my jacket and was soon soaked all the way down to my base layer. I became concerned that if I topped out the face soaking wet and into the wind that I would become hypothermic. I forced my tunnel through the mushroom slowly, grovelling upwards through this unexpected crux, and soon I exited the groove into easier angled climbing above. Here I found better neve and exceptionally fun mixed climbing in grooves high on the face in a fantastic position.”

The Emperor Face is rarely in condition due to its size, glaciers and the quick-changing weather.

Fauteux and van Haeren have climbed a number of big routes in the Rockies together and with other partners, including Grand Central Couloir, The Wild Thing and The Greenwood/Locke.

Emperor Face Ascents

1978: Jim Logan and Mugs Stump
1981: Dave Cheesmond and Tony Dick
2002: Barry Blanchard, Eric Dumerac, Philippe Pellet
2007: Steve House and Colin Haley
2010: Jon Walsh and Jason Kruk
2012: Jon Walsh and Josh Wharton
2012: Jay Mills and Raphael Slawinski
2016: Marc-Andre Leclerc (solo)
2018: Maarten van Haeren and Jasmin Fauteux

Happy to be back home in the Bow Valley, watching the snow slowly melt. Here @jasfauteux starts up another pitch of classic ice climbing on our second day up Infinite Patience (VI M5 WI5 5.9 2,200m) on Mt Robson. If I could start all my alpine mornings like this, I'd be pretty stoked!! . . . . . . #iceclimbing #climbing #climbing_is_my_life #canadaiscooler #climbingphotography #alpineclimbing #liveclimbrepeat #theclimbinglife #canadianrockies #rablife #neverstopexploring #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #greatnorthcollective #mountaincultureelevated #aacgram #mountainpeopleunite #petzlgram #mecnation #arcteryx #lasportivana #lasportiva #kailas #madetoclimb @julbousa @grippedmagazine @americanalpine @rab.equipment_canada

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